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When are you most contagious with a cold?

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Symptoms of a cold can be felt about one to four days after catching a cold virus. They start with a burning feeling in the nose or throat, followed by sneezing, a runny nose, and a feeling of being tired and unwell. This is the period when you are the most contagious, so it's best to stay home and rest.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold."

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: "The Common Cold."

University of Virginia Health System: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or Common Cold)."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Getting Well When You Have a Cold or the Flu."

Medline Plus: "Common Cold."

FDA: "Colds and Flu: Time only Sure Cure."

American Lung Association: "A Survival Guide for Preventing and Treating Influenza and the Common Cold."

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on April 2, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold."

Palo Alto Medical Foundation: "The Common Cold."

University of Virginia Health System: "Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or Common Cold)."

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: "Getting Well When You Have a Cold or the Flu."

Medline Plus: "Common Cold."

FDA: "Colds and Flu: Time only Sure Cure."

American Lung Association: "A Survival Guide for Preventing and Treating Influenza and the Common Cold."

UpToDate.

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on April 2, 2019

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How long does a cold usually progress over time?

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